The History of Rauawaawa Kaumātua Charitable Trust and Te Puna o Te Ora
The overarching aim of Rauawaawa is to enhance the quality of life and well-being of Kaumātua. Rauawaawa is a not for profit organisation, and a registered charity (CC20570). We provide services, programmes and activities to over 600 Kaumātua within the Hamilton city boundary.
Established in 1997, The Rauawaawa Kaumātua Charitable Trust was founded by a group of Kaumātua that identified a need for Kaumātua culturally focussed and accessible health, social and community-based activities and services.
Since 1998, Rauawaawa has been based at a facility that occupies over one acre of land in Colombo Street, Frankton, Hamilton called Te Puna o Te Ora. As a Trust, Rauawaawa now celebrates more than 20 years of service delivery, but Te Puna o Te Ora has been active in providing services to the local community for more than 75 years.
The lack of accommodation for Māori in Hamilton during the 1930’s lay the grounds for active members and organisations in the community to advocate for the establishment of a Māori hostel. The birth of the complex Te Puna o Te Ora was initiated in 1938 with the incorporation of the Waikato Māori Hostel Society (WMHS).
Foundation members specified in the WMHS Trust Deed were Princess Te Puea, Eliza Oraihi Whatu, The Hamilton Borough Council, the Waikato Hospital Board, the Hamilton Rotary Club, the Waikato, Waipa, Raglan, Kawhia, Otorohanga, Matamata, Piaka and Waitomo County Councils, the Te Kuiti Māori Association, Sisters Frances and Nicholl, Dr Turbott, Mr Valder, Mr Findlay, Mr Dillicar and many more significant change makers to the history of Māoridom in Hamilton.
Te Puna o Te Ora has served Māori from throughout Aotearoa during its history, firstly as an accommodation facility for Māori moving in to Kirikiriroa from rural areas for work (1941 – 1970), then as an accommodation and training centre for Trade Trainees (1971 – 1990). After that initiative ended Anchorage inhabited Te Puna o Te Ora and ran its residential alcohol and mental health service (1991 – 1997).
After Anchorage, Rauawaawa acquired the management of Te Puna o Te Ora. The Waikato Māori Hostel Society then led by Dr Hare Puke, a renowned Kaumātua gifted the land and assets of Te Puna o Te Ora to Rauawaawa on 30th May 2006.
Since taking up guardianship of Te Puna o Te Ora, Rauawaawa has with the support of Hamilton City Council, Lotteries, Trust Waikato, Wel Energy Trust, DV Bryant Trust, Gallaghers, Southern Trust, Norah Howell Trust and many more generous contributors completed partial upgrades to make the facility more suitable for Kaumātua. Although Te Puna o Te Ora is no longer an accommodation complex, it continues to be a gathering point for Kaumātua and their whānau.